Fanfic / From the Ashes (Erttheking)
From the Ashes
(not to be confused with the trope
or the Hetalia fanfiction
of the same name) is a Mass Effect
crossover that is written by Erttheking. Set in the 28th century after Humanity manages to recover from the Great War, forms a united government known as the Coalition, and pushes forward out into space, they encounter the Council. Due to their more militarized nature and used of synthetics, tensions between them and the Council are even higher than they were between the Council and the Alliance.
For the most part, the story follows the concept of the first Mass Effect
game, Saren has gone rogue using the Geth and Sovereign to attack Eden Prime. However, things are noticeably different this time. First of all all of the Reapers are dead
due to the Prothean team from Illos managing to open the Citadel and using makeshift nuclear warheads to take them out
. The story is less about the Reapers planning their invasion of the galaxy and more about Saren's hatred of the Coalition and how he is building up his forces to eliminate them, and how the Coalition responds to the threat he presents, as well as the other threats in the galaxy.
Also, it's worth mentioning that the author has created a lot of OCs for this story.
From the Ashes provides examples of the following tropes:
- Aborted Arc: John receives visions from the Prothean Beacon on Eden Prime just like in the games. Unlike the games, nothing ever comes off it as the Crucible plot has been dropped.
- Doubly so now that John is dead
- Action Girl: Too many to count.
- All There in the Manual: There are more than a few codex entries at the end of chapters that provide background information.
- Anti-Hero: Roger is a type III due to his brash and rude nature, while Norman is a type IV due to his Knight Templar tendencies.
- Arm Cannon: Roger's arm can fire blasts of plasma energy from the palm. However, it only has the strength of a plasma pistol and needs to be reloaded every six shots
- Members of the Enclave Special Forces make much better used of this trope, with Major Albert Black of Sigma Squad having machine-guns concealed within his arms, while James and Jade of Alpha Squad have a wrist mounted machine-gun and rocket launcher respectively.
- Artificial Limbs: A common technology in both the Coalition and the Council. They even can mimic nerve endings and touch sensations, although it has been remarked that the sensations created by it feel dull compared to the feelings that normal limps give off. Roger has a cybernetic arm. He has sharpened the fingers into claws
- After Noveria, he now has an artificial leg too, having lost his original one to a Rachni
- Artificial Human: Cornelia
- Ascended Extra: Primarch Fedorian, by sheer virtue of actually appearing and not dying off screen, has a greater presence in this story than in the games. He takes the role of an antagonist during the war with the Coalition, albeit as an Anti-Villian
- At Least I Admit It: Goeth has a rather good rant on how so many people do so many horrible things for a "greater good" that he comes off not so much "insane" as hypersane.
The things that I do are considered horrible and twisted by the standards everyone claims to stand by. But the thing is that everyone breaks these so called 'moral standards' all the time. Bombing a colony is bad, according to these standards, but if you do it to kill a dangerous individual, it's acceptable to some. It's bad to kill someone, but it's acceptable if they deserve it. And it's bad to kill your leader, but if you really needed to, it's acceptable. I don't even know why society bothers with moral standards. Every time things get a little hard they're thrown to the wind with people saying 'oh, I HAD to do this,' or 'it was what needed to be done.'
It's actually rather amusing to watch people commit atrocities and then viciously try to convince themselves that they're still 'good guys.' It even gets rather funny when they start whining about how tortured they are because they broke these fragile little rules that everyone holds so near and dear to them for reasons I still don't quite understand. And then when they're accused of breaking these rules, it's amazing how offended and defensive they get, treating the word hypocrite like it's a dirty word, and acting like everything will be ok if no one understands what they've done. All these twists and turns, these lies so many live by, standards that are important, but then they really aren't, but then they really are. And people say that I'm insane.
- Automatic Crossbow: Sheryl utilizes one, having customized it to make the bolts slow enough to pass though kinetic barriers. However, it is rather ineffective on armored targets
- Ax-Crazy: Norman shows signs of it, shooting a prisoner in the genitals with a smile on his face before killing him.
- Badass Army: The Coalition military, in addition to the light infantry that makes up the bulks of its ranks, has power armor wearing heavy infantry, the Stalker Corps, a division comprised solely of intelligent Deathclaws equipped with cloaking devices, and the Mechanized Infantry, made up of Mr. Gutsys and Sentry Bots. And then there's the Liberty Prime Corps.
- Benevolent A.I.: For the most part. The Coalition using AI is vital roles is a point of friction with the Council.
- Black Box: Since Sovereign was rendered a lifeless husk with the death of the other Reapers, Saren was forced to learn how to use its technology from scratch. Even after years he still doesn't have everything down, to the point where he doesn't know how to use Indoctrination.
- Both Sides Have a Point: Volker takes this stance on his views of the Geth-Quarian conflict. Much to Tali's irritation.
- The Council Civil War fits this trope as well.
Tevos: "I think... I think there's something we all need to accept. We're all in the right. And we're all in the wrong."
- Came Back Strong: The Enclave is back, with enough men and resources to be classified as a galactic power
- Church Militant: The Vatican is one of the Post-War nations on Earth, with a main military force called the Left Hand Commandos, all of whom are also priests. The negative qualities usually associated with this trope are absent though.
- Cult: There is one in an isolated town on the Coalition colony of Demeter, one that kidnaps non-Catholics and tortures them to death. The Vatican Paladin executes every single one of the cult members.
- Deconstruction: The story deconstructs the concepts of Paragon options, specifically Humanity curing the Genophage and letting the Rachni live. Jane Shepard allows both of these to happen under her watch. It results in an all out war, with the Coalition and it's allies fighting the Council races.
- In a way it also deconstructs the common concept of fanfiction presenting a more militarized and independent humanity in the Mass Effect universe. While the Rachni and Genophage where what pushed the Council races over the edge, tension between them and humanity had been building up for years.
- Furthermore, the idea of pitting a more advanced humanity against the Citadel Council is also deconstructed. Despite humanity's technological edge from the Fallout universe, they're still very new to the galactic stage. The Citadel races, on the other hand, have centuries more experiences than humanity in the ways of interplanetary warfare. Therefore, instead of a Curb-Stomp Battle ensuing in favor of humanity, like in so many other stories of the same type, humanity is outsmarted and outmaneuvered time and time again during the Council Civil War. What's more, as soon as the war breaks out, the Council makes it their top priority to start reverse engineering humanity's advanced technology, meaning that advantage isn't going to last forever...
- Earth That Used to Be Better: The current population of Earth is 1.9 billion and it gets lower every year. Half of the planet is still covered in red zones, and while there still are government projects to reclaim these areas from Raiders and mutants, they are slowly losing funding. With Earth depleted of its resources and with the attractive alternative new colonies provide, people are simply abandoning it.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: For all it's xenophobia, the Enclave seems to have little problem letting women and homosexuals obtain high ranking positions, as their President is both. The Rear Admiral Gallows is also revealed to be gay and there are plenty of female soldiers, from generals to cannon fodder in the Marines. Woods has mentioned that she came under flack for her homosexuality though, so the system isn't perfect.
- Extreme Doormat: Meta example. The author has admitted to being this.
- Fantastic Racism: Alaskan tribals are very hostile towards albinos, as Sheryl found out the hard way.
- Even though racism against mutants is much rarer theses days thanks to Marcus' Mutant Equality Movement, it's still the norm within the Enclave.
- Freudian Excuse: Roger acts the way he does because of trust issues that he developed when he was attacked by a feral Deathclaw on Earth, lost his arm and eye, and his squad mates left him for dead
- Likewise, Nora's behavior is because of the abusive tenancies of her father, which culminated in her being kidnapped by thugs and her brother being killed in an attempted rescue
- Freudian Trio: Roger, Norman and Sheryl can be classified as this, with Roger as the Id, Norman the Superego, and Sheryl the Ego.
- Foreshadowing The war assets that appeared at the end of every chapter where the Coalition gained a potential ally were foreshadowing the war with the Council
- General Ripper: Admiral Crawford fills this role for the Enclave. Averted with Admiral Gallows, who is much more calm and even a little unsure of himself at times, and General Moore, who is so depressed by Enclave oppressing their own citizens that she tends to drown her sorrows.
- Genki Girl: Cornelia Lepidus
- Glass Cannon: Coalition destroyers, long range ships that use a Tesla cannon instead of mass accelerators, which bypass enemy shields and cripple ships. However, because of the massive power drain of the Tesla cannon, destroyers have weak shields and can be easily dispatched by a single frigate if it can get close enough.
- Gray and Grey Morality: The war with the Council. Both the Coalition and their enemies have legitimate grievances against each other. The Coalition cured the Genophage and released the Rachni without addressing the leaders of the Council, while the Coalition has issues with how controlling and limiting the Council can be. Both of them also ally themselves with morally questionable allies, the Enclave for the Coalition and the Batarian Hegemony for the Council. To make things even more complicated, the Batarian front includes constant atrocities from the Batarians and the Coalition countering by turning a captured Batarian planet into, essentially, an imperialist colony.
- Guns Akimbo: Norman wields a pistol in each hand during combat. In addition to his biotics, it's mentioned on the character page that he spent 200,000 credits customizing them to reduce the recoil enough for him to pull this trope off.
- Heroic Albino: Sheryl Hayah, a tribal huntress from a post apocalyptic Alaska.
- Human Popsicle: Volker Hoffman, a German soldier from World War II that was abducted by Motership Zeta.
- Interspecies Romance: Tali and Volker after the Enclave arc
- Jerkass: Both Roger and Norman could both stand to become better people.
- Killed Off for Real: John Shepard
- Knight Templar: Norman is of the opinion that some people deserve to be killed, and he is well within his right to enjoy doing so. See Ax-Crazy
- Let's You and Him Fight: The Lone Wanderer and The Courier wound up fighting to a standstill over the course of three days, because they mistook the other for a Legion super solider.
- Lightning Bruiser: Coalition battlecruisers lack a mass accelerator and divert the extra power to the engines, allowing it to get close enough to enemy ships to unleash its massive payload of missiles before retreating. This is required because if the missiles were fired from far away, too many of them would be picked off by laser defense systems before they reached their target to cause any significant damage.
- Lighter and Softer: At least when compared to the canon Fallout games. To the Mass Effect games it's Darker and Edgier
- Loads and Loads of Characters: As mentioned above, the author has created over two dozen OCs for this story as of recent chapters
- Macross Missile Massacre: How Coalition battlecruisers fight, sacrificing their mass accelerator to do so.
- Madness Mantra: The members of the horde all screech their own unique mantras during their rampage. Some examples include "It hurts!", "Quiet!" and "Go away!"
- Mama Bear: Matriarch Benezia is blackmailed by treasonous commandos to keep quiet about the digging she had been doing into Saren's activities or they would do countless horrible things to Liara Once Liara is safely in Coalition custody, Benezia proceeds to slaughter everyone that had been involved and joins the Normandy crew in hunting down a few stragglers on Noveria.
- Muggle Power: The Army is of the anti-Muggle side, viewing becoming either a Ghoul or a Super Mutant as the next step in Human Evolution.
- As always, the Enclave is of the pro-muggle side, although this now extends to aliens and not just mutants
- Nice Guy: Volker and Adam both qualify.
- Non-Uniform Uniform: While Coalition heavy infantry all wear the same power armor, the uniforms for the light infantry vary from division to division. The author has admitted that this was inspired by the Imperial Guard of Warhammer 40,000.
- N-Word Privileges: In the modern day, Super Mutants and Ghouls are referred to as Meta-Humans and Necro-Humans, with the old terms for them being viewed as somewhat racial slurs while the terms Zombie and Frankenstein are considered highly racist. That being said, Charon refers to Fawkes as a Frankenstein during the First Contact War, and he merely laughs in response.
- People's Republic of Tyranny: The Sovereign Dominion of Adek. A puppet state set up by General Hill on a conquered Batarian colony. She even lampshapes it slightly at one point, saying that the Sovereign part made the name sound better.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: President Woods does everything in her power to be this for the Enclave, but because of the massive amount of red tape and resistance from the political parties, cannot make much progress. And when she manages to blackmail the Enclave senators into passing a bill that would give the citizens of the Enclave basic rights that they had been denied, she is shot by Admiral Crawford while giving a speech, sparking off an Enemy Civil War
- The Remnant: The Army, a Terminus System mercenary group comprised entirely of mutants, is suspected to have been founded by a handful of Super Mutants who survived the fall of the Master's Army.
- Rousseau Was Right: Volker's opinion on the Human race. Having fought in the second World War, he is of the opinion that the soldiers that fought and died in the conflict were good people that were scarred, angry, or simply caught up in the heat of the moment. He compares the war to an angry mob, in that individual opinions are swallowed up and good people do things that they would never normally do. However, this opinion only extends to 99% of the Human race, as Volker believes that people who stir up the mobs in the first place and have those mobs fight their battles for them, are truly evil.
- Samus Is a Girl: Norman's name is actually Nora
- Sanity Slippage: As Saren gains more and more war assets, his patience and temper continue to degrade.
- Scars Are Forever: Volker has some pretty nasty scars after his tangle with Grace Cain
- Schedule Slip: The more recent chapters have been released less and less frequently, to the point of the story going two months without an update.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Volker. To the point where he completely breaks down after seeing the Enclave bomb one of their own city blocks in order to eliminate some rebels.
- Shout-Out: The name of the military HQ on Moriea is Fort Cadia
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Roger Andrews
- Stations Of The Canon: So so Averted. Shanxi still happens but everything quickly goes Off the Rails from canon.
- Sword and Gun: Cornelia's approach to battle seems to be an SMG in one hand and a short sword in the other.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Averted with Volker, who had become disillusioned with the Nazi party and only fought in the Wehrmacht because he was forced to.
- Token Evil Teammate: The Moreian shocktroops for the Coalition, soldiers from the mining colony of Moreia formed in response to frequent pirate raids. Not only do they wear pitch black armor with glowing red eyes at the center of a skull painted on the face plate, they have also been involved in several scandals regarding torture and the use of ruthless tactics. This has earned them the scorn of many in the Coalition, with Ashley Williams showing particular distaste for them.
- Was Once a Man: The Horde. Normal Humans and aliens that were twisted by Dr. Goeth into cyborgs and mutants to be used as weapons by the Enclave. Their mental state has degraded to the state where in all their appearances they only kill everything that they see, even if what they see are Enclave soldiers.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Norman.
- Worf Effect: Three Liberty Primes, which until then had never been defeated on screen, are obliterated by the Reaper Destroyer on Tuchanka, even though they had dozens of tanks backing them up.
- World War Whatever: It is mentioned in the codex entries that during the mid 23rd century a conflict was fought in Europe that many historians refer to as the Fourth World War. It concerned a Post-War France ruled by a power hungry dictator attempting to expand his territory, only to be brought down by the combined military forces of the New British Empire, the Vatican, and the Russian Union.
- Xanatos Gambit: Dalatrass Linron's plan during the invasion of Sur'Kesh. The Enclave, Geth and Quarians launch an invasion of the Salarian home planet. If the Salarians win the orbital battle, then fine. Their enemies have been beaten back and the home world is safe. If they beat the Salarian defensive fleet and land their invasion forces however, Linron releases a hidden army of Yahg she has hidden, and reinforcements attack the orbiting forces. Either way she wins. Although she remarks that she prefers the former outcome, as while she still wins with the latter, Sur'Kesh's defensive fleet sustains massive causalities in the process.